The other day on Instagram, someone goes, “I just read on that grape friend thing that ice in wine is bad.” I replied to let them know that’s not always so – you gotta do what you gotta do when it’s brutally hot and humid out (and it’s been brutally hot and humid a lot lately)! You obviously want your white and rosé cold, but I’ve even been known to drop a cube into a lighter red like Beaujolais when I’m drinking outside.
Waiter or fellow-drinker derision be damned – the real problem, of course, is that it dilutes your wine. That’s why I was stoked to find so many new non-diluting wine-cooling accessories lately. And I roadtested them all for you, kind of like the drinking version of Joel McHale:
When this first came out, I’ll admit all I could think was how phallic it looked. But if it’s useful, it’s useful… Throw it in the freezer, and then plunge it into your wine bottle when it’s at the table to keep it cool (just pour out a little wine first or it’ll overflow – waste of wine!). Keeps whites chilled and can even just bring down the temperature of a too-hot red. Plus, it’s way less messy than a whole watery, drippy bucket. $25, buy it here.
vacuvin wine cooler
This plastic sleeve has some special non-toxic gel inside it, encased in foil and foam layers to maximize insulation. After freezing it, you slip it over your bottle. The packaging says it chills the wine in 5 minutes and keeps it cool for hours. But from room temperature, mine took more like 10 minutes and was still only slightly cool. Probably better to use it just to cool down reds a little or keep a chilled bottle cold for a while rather than get a warm white all the way down to the properly cold temperature. Comes in lots of colors, even this grapefriendy purple. $12, buy it here.
These were originally designed for whiskey, but to be honest I usually like having an ice cube add some water to my whiskey. Wine not so much, and these have become my go-to cold wine saviors lately! They’re made out of soapstone and you put them in the freezer so they get super chilled, then just drop one or two in your glass when your juice needs a little cool down. Totally brings the temp down long enough for you to finish your glass. (PS other awesome use: you can heat them up in the microwave and use them to keep drinks hot, too.) Huge fan! $25 for a set of 12, buy them here!
Dying to know what Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky and Mike would think of each of these. They’re apparently quite opinionated.
I have a set of whiskey stones. Never used ’em – I guess being stones they should be inert and just as good for a second use.
You can use them over and over. Just rinse off and stick them in the freezer in between uses.